Air Board Proposes New Pipeline Biogas Standards

AB 1900, legislation to promote the instate development and use of biogas, requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to propose pipeline biogas standards to protect public health. The California Public Utilities Commission must defer to the agencies in adopting those standards and must adopt additional standards to ensure pipeline safety and compatibility with end use equipment. AB 1900 also requires CARB and OEHHA to update those standards every five years. The CPUC adopted California’s first pipeline biogas standards in 2014. The standards include specific requirements for testing, monitoring, and pipeline injection for landfill biogas, dairy biogas, and wastewater biogas. The CPUC also determined that biogas from diverted organic waste projects must meet the standards adopted for wastewater biogas.

In 2022, CARB and OEHHA began an update to the original biogas standards and presented a draft of proposed changes in October of 2022. The draft changes would include one additional biogas category, which is biogas generated from diverted organic waste and green waste, which includes yard waste, tree trimmings and other waste biomass. The draft also adds several new constituents to each of the current standards and removes a few constituents of concern as well.

For more detail on the proposed changes, see CARB’s April 2023 Report and Recommendations to the CPUC